Store Extra Energy In Liquid Air

The UK's Institution of Mechanical Engineers has announced that liquid air can be used to store excess energy generated from renewable sources. For example, wind farms generate power at night, but since demand is low at that time, the energy may be wasted.

When demand increases the next day, the liquid air can be warmed to drive a turbine, thereby giving the energy back. Engineers say the process can achieve an efficiency of up to 70%.

The process follows a number of stages:
  1. "Wrong-time electricity" is used to take in air, remove the CO2 and water vapour (these would freeze otherwise)
  2. the remaining air, mostly nitrogen, is chilled to -190C (-310F) and turns to liquid (changing the state of the air from gas to liquid is what stores the energy)
  3. the liquid air is held in a giant vacuum flask until it is needed
  4. when demand for power rises, the liquid is warmed to ambient temperature. As it vaporizes, it drives a turbine to produce electricity - no combustion is involved.
Highview believes that, produced at scale, their kits could be up to 70% efficient, and IMechE agrees this figure is realistic.

This work derives from the work of Britainís Peter Dearman, who invented a liquid air engine to power vehicles as seen in the following video.

Science fiction fans of yesteryear would not find this idea hard to believe. The idea of storing energy in liquid air and then using it to power engines was used in Buck Rogers in the 25th Century.


(Buck Rogers in the 25th Century)

Via BBC. Thanks to Winchell Chung of Project Rho for the tip and the reference on this story.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 10/2/2012)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Engineering ")

Converting Low Temp Waste Heat To Electricity
'Our civilisation was dying in its own waste heat.'

Augmented Reality On Construction Sites
'The walls had become blue glass...' - Niven and Barnes, 1992.

Festo's AquaJellies 2.0
'It was a chemotactic artificial jellyfish designed to slither into undersea vents...' - Rucker/Sterling, 1994.

Solar Plane Circles The Globe
'Tropism-like pursuit of the sun across the sky as they recharged their batteries...' - Roger Zelazny

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Sketching Robots May Displace Starving Artists
Jeez, robots, leave us with something.

Three Clues To Limb Regeneration
'Forcing the energy transfer which allowed him to regrow his lost fingers...'

Soft Caterpillar Robot Powered By Light
'the spread-out "puddle" shape she used for soaking up sun...'

Converting Low Temp Waste Heat To Electricity
'Our civilisation was dying in its own waste heat.'

Flex Robot Surgeon - Let's Hope You're Sedated
There are other insertion points, right, Neo?

Liquid Metal Terminator Development Hums Right Along
More research is needed - check!

Kiwi Dominos Drone Pizza Delivery
If you can deliver diapers, you can deliver pizzas.

MIT Robot Helps Out In Delivery Room
Oooee nooomaa oooee. And you thought today's doctors were hard to understand.

Self-Healing Textiles! Say Goodbye To Torn Jeans
'The constant renewal of the fibers, repairing any faults...'

Fleets Of Ford Autonomous Cars In 5 Years
'He urgently addressed the vehicle's AI."Can't we go any faster?'

Electric Head Patch Helps PTSD Patients
'Don't confuse this with the little ten amp neurosis models.'

MEDi Robot Calms The Nervous Patient
'Specially programmed stabilizing surrogate devices.'

NASA's Interplanetary Internet DTN
'This was the center of Interplanetary Communications.'

Superior Morals For Autonomous Cars
Exemplars of military and civic virtue.

Housekeeping Robots Easy To Imagine, Tough To Make
George Jetson had it easy.

Augmented Reality On Construction Sites
'To Nigel Bishop, the walls had become blue glass...'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.